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Things to do March 18 - 24, 2021

March 18th

Some Like It Hot! Microbial Communities Inhabiting Hydrothermal Systems

Virginia Living Museum - March 18; 6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Microbes (including bacteria, archaea, and viruses) are ubiquitous on Earth and have been found under conditions where no animal can survive. There is currently no known microbe that can tolerate temperatures higher than 122 ˚C. Hydrothermal systems display diverse and unpredictable conditions of extremely high temperatures and acidic pH, offering a range of environments that naturally test the limits of life as we know it. Microbial communities have been found within hydrothermal fluids, microbial mats on basaltic rock and chimneys, as well as within the neutrally buoyant hydrothermal plume, with varying energetic constraints on microbial activity and abundance. Moreover, hydrothermal systems are hypothesized to be the epicenters of the origins of life, making them ideal for studying evolutionary processes. The environmental conditions at Brothers volcano (study site of IODP Expedition 376 Brothers Arc Flux) provided a perfect setting to test the limits and adaptations of life.


Dr. Labonté received her B.S. and M. Sc. from Laval University, and her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. She was a post-doctoral researcher at Bigelow Laboratory before heading to Texas A&M University at Galveston, where she currently is an Assistant Professor. Her research focuses on determining the role of viruses and their hosts in aquatic environments, from the surface to below the seafloor, through the characterization of their relationships. Dr. Labonté participated as a shipboard scientist on IODP Expedition 376 Brothers Arc Flux and worked on cores from Expeditions 337 Juan de Fuca Ridge-Flank Hydrogeology and 357 Atlantis Massif Serpentinization and Life. 524 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard, 757-595-1900. Click here for more information.

March 19th

Hampton Roads History: Hilton Village’s Colony Inn

The Mariners’ Museum and Park  - March 19; 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

Presenter: John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center when he presents on Hilton Village - a planned, English-village-style neighborhood in Newport News and the United States' first federally-funded war-housing project. Viewers are welcome to send Quarstein any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer them following his talk.

About the presentation: The Washington Naval Treaty’s impact on the Newport News Shipyard caused projects like Hilton Village to falter. Henry Edwards “Eddie” Huntington refused to see this model ‘Garden City’ community suffer. So, in 1924, Eddie funded the construction of the Colony Inn at the intersection of Warwick Road and Main Street. The Colony Inn’s charming Tudor Revival architecture and English-styled interior decorations made it virtually an equal to The Chamberlin Hotel on Old Point Comfort. Promoted as “An English Inn on the American Plan,” its old English spirit gave the Colony Inn a delightful atmosphere. When coupled with “typical Southern hospitality” the Inn never lacked patronage. Luminaries like President Herbert Hoover and his wife, Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Archer Milton Huntington stayed in this posh establishment during the 1930s. Yet, this Hilton landmark began to fade in the late 1950s and was demolished to make way for modern buildings. FREE. Pre-registration is required. 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Click here for more information. 


March 20th


History of the Park and Trees Guided Tour

The Mariners’ Museum and Park  - March 20; TBD

Connect with nature on a guided tour of The Mariners’ Park and the Noland Trail! This unique one-hour walking tour features an in-depth narrative of trees and plants, a history of the 550-acre Park and breathtaking views of the 167-acre Mariners’ Lake. More details to come, such as tour time, meeting location, registration information and more! Free. Limited Space Available. Reservations Required. 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Click here for more information.



Those Silly Squirrels

Newport News Park  - March 20; 10 a.m.

They are always up to something! Learn more about the energetic and always entertaining eastern grey squirrel while taking a stroll in Newport News Park. Meet the park naturalist at the Discover Center. The program is free and no registration is required. For information, please call 757-886-7916, Masks and social distancing required. 13560 Jefferson Avenue. Click here for more information.  

March 21st

Bird Walk

Newport News Park  - March 21; 7 a.m.

Join other bird enthusiasts and enjoy viewing birds in their natural habitat. No experience necessary! The group meets in Picnic Area 1, behind the ranger station at Newport News Park, but may drive to other areas of the park during the program. Dress for the weather, bring water and hand sanitizer, and don't forget your binoculars! When you get home, share your best photos with us on Instagram. Use #nnvirtualbirdwalk and #nnparks for possible feature! You can also post them here in this event. Co-hosted by the Hampton Roads Bird Club. Click here for more information and special COVID-19 program instructions.



March 22ND


Virtual Maritime Mondays

The Mariners’ Museum and Park  - March 22; 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

This week’s book: Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia, written by D. Anne Love. Hop online for a reading adventure every Monday! Fun for both children and caregivers, enjoy a book reading with Lauren T. Furey, manager of visitor engagement, and discover an interesting artifact from our Museum’s Collection! Designed for children from 18 months to 8 years, Lauren takes you and your little mariners on a journey to show how we are all connected to the world’s waters. Be sure to register in advance, and join us for a new book every week! FREE. Pre-registration is required. 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Click here for more information. 


March 24th


Speakers’ Bureau: We Have Unfinished Business

The Mariners’ Museum and Park  - March 24; 1 p.m.

Join us online with Ron Lewis, a docent at The Mariners’ Museum and Park, when he explores how Great Britain was able to engage the US into a second war after the US had defeated and gained independence 25 years earlier from the British. Viewers are welcome to send Ron comments or questions, which he will answer following the presentation.


About the presentation: Arguably the most controversial war in our history, the War of 1812 was fought at an unusual time. We were not prepared for it. We had no national consensus as to its necessity. Tactics of warfare were changing worldwide. The war was inconclusive, confusing, and in some respects, unnecessary. We had just, through sometimes brilliant war strategies and alliances, secured our independence from Great Britain. And now, 25 years later, why would we enter a second “war of independence.” What were the causes? How had the British inflamed the soul of a new nation leading to a declaration of full-on war? We’ll explore this and challenge you to draw your plan for response and retaliation to the British Monarchy who, it seemed, might never release its grip on her Colonies! Advance registration is required. 100 Museum Drive, 757-596-2222. Click here for more information. 





Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt

Lee Hall Mansion  - March 20 - April 3; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Newport News Historic Sites will be offering an Easter Egg scavenger hunt starting March 20th and lasting until April 3rd. You can download the hunt here or pick it up at Lee Hall Mansion or the Newport News Visitor Center in Newport News Park. The hunt is divided into two age categories for children ages 3-12. After visiting four Newport News Historic Sites to find the egg signs and answer questions, the completed hunt can be redeemed for prizes at either Lee Hall Mansion or the Newport News Visitor Center. Lee Hall Mansion is located at 163 Yorktown Road. Scavenger hunts can be picked up or prizes claimed Thursday through Saturday 10AM -3:30PM. The Newport News Visitor Center is located at 13560 Jefferson Ave. at the entrance to Newport News Park. Scavenger hunts can be picked up or redeemed at this location, seven days a week from 9AM – 5PM. For more information or further questions contact nnhistoricsites@nnva.gov or call 757-888-3371 ext. 304. Click here for more information.